MINNEAPOLIS Most hotels like to boast about their breathtaking views of beautiful beaches and majestic mountains, but Courtyard by Marriott has scored perhaps the most coveted vista of all time—the field at Super Bowl LII.
For the third year in a row, the hotel brand is offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience to one die-hard fan through its Super Bowl Sleepover Contest.
“Since we are a hospitality brand, we really wanted to bring something unique to that in-stadium experience by giving the fan the chance to spend the night in the stadium and wake up there,” explained Michael Dail, vice president of global brand marketing for the Courtyard, Four Points, Springhill, and Fairfield brands. It’s Courtyard’s seventh season as the “official hotel” of the N.F.L., with the brand activating at tentpole events throughout the season.
The contest, which ran from September 1 through November 3, asked fans to submit photos and videos through social media using the hashtag #CourtyardSuperBowlContest, explaining “what makes them the most passionate fan.”
The winner, Denver Broncos fan Courey Marshall, and his wife will get to snooze in a field-level stadium suite at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis that’s been transformed into a Courtyard hotel room on the eve of the Super Bowl, waking up on the field on February 4.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re pitching a tent in the stadium,” joked Dail about the temporary guest room. The suite, which is produced by Endeavor Global Marketing’s experiential group IMG LIVE and fabricated by Bluemedia, is built to look like a Courtyard hotel, with a bed, a living area with sofa and TV, built-in bar, and amenities. Plus, the winner’s favorite athlete is on site to welcome the guests with a celebrity check-in experience and possibly to bring them breakfast in bed.
“Producing custom elements that replicate the Courtyard guest room exactly in an existing suite space and the restrictions that come with it, does force you to get creative especially when building faux walls and using new materials,” explained Bryan Icenhower, president of IMG LIVE. “The ability to remove and bring in elements on Super Bowl Sunday can be difficult to navigate due to security restrictions, which require a to-the-minute run of show on top of full-access credentials to get the job done.”
U.S. Bank Stadium, which is home to the Minnesota Vikings, provided the Courtyard team a unique opportunity—on-field location. At previous stadiums, the football fan fantasy suite was higher up, at club level. But the Vikings stadium offers suites on the field by the end zone, which the hotel brand was able to convert for the big game. After the sleepover, Icenhower's team flips the makeshift guest room back to a stadium suite in order to entertain Courtyard guests. “We build out the suite space in three days and then have less than 90 minutes to complete the transition for the actual Super Bowl,” he said.
This year, in addition to the suite, Courtyard also created, in partnership with Endeavor Global Marketing, a 4-D virtual reality dome that replicates the experience to allow more fans to get a peek at what it’s like to sleep over at the Super Bowl, as well as be a player on the field. The activation is free and open to the public on February 2 and 3 inside the Mall of America. Visitors will also be given the chance to enter to win a pair of Super Bowl tickets on both days. The dome made its debut in New York at the beginning of the N.F.L. season.
In addition to the room and 4-D dome, the hotel brand will also open up its hospitality suite called the Vikings House, inviting V.I.P.s, athletes, and Marriott Rewards members to visit during Super Bowl weekend.
Watch below as the Super Bowl Sleepover suite is built: